Sunday, March 12, 2006

National Wonky

It's good to have a wonky appendage, necessary even. There are far too many people who go through life these days without achieving an acceptable level of wonkiness in any body part. It's a consequence of our societal values and the way in which we live our lives. How can someone get anything that is truly wonky simply by playing Xbox all day or lying around eating butter? I find this hugely disappointing and not a small bit alarming.

Now, before I jump onto my soapbox and call for a healthy increase in our national level of wonkiness, a definition of "wonky" may do us some good, especially as we are about to delve into the minutiae of determining what can and cannot be wonky. As far as I'm concerned, Webster's be damned, "wonky" is a state of permanent, although not debilitating, dysfunction in an appendage brought about by physical injury. The path to wonkiness may follow thusly: I broke my hand. My broken hand was not well set. My knuckle is now in an unnatural position. Due to my knuckle's unnatural position, I have lost range of motion in my pinky finger. I now have a wonky hand.

Isn't that charming? Doesn't it bring to mind images of Norman Rockwell's world where old men sat on wooden porches and predicted the weather by interpreting the creaks and throbs of their own wonky appendages? What if, after dull and uneventful lives, these men had no wonky appendages with which to predict the weather? Then they'd just be old men sitting on a porch . . . guessing.

There's nothing interesting about a man saying, "I think it's gonna rain." But if a man says, "It's gonna rain. The old trick knee's actin' up," not only is that much more interesting, it acquires a level of certainty missing in the previous statement. The essential component comprising the difference is the man's knee and its wonkiness. Simply put, the man's past colors his present and helps him to predict his future . . . . jeez, that's altogether too serious for my present mood. Maybe a discussion question is in order here. Like this one:

Taking the aforementioned principles of 'wonkiness' as truth extendable to the societal level, what inferences can be made about our collective lack of experiential knowledge? What repercussions might this have on our country's future? Does this question have an answer given your own possible lack of 'wonkiness,' broadly defined? Are we screwed?

There, that should do it. Chew on that for a while.

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